Let me introduce you to some truly great wine and food matches (the so-called marriages in heaven). Why not experiment with some of them. I promise you these are well and truly tested. My top twenty: 20. Port & Stilton (alternatively Sauternes & Roquefort). 19. Sancerre & goat`s cheese. 18. Chablis & oysters. 17. Côtes-du- Rhône & charcuterie. 16. Thai Goong Paow & Dry Riesling. 15. Vietnamese fish-soup & Gruner-Veltliner. 14. White Burgundy & Turbot (or Dover Sole). 13. Chianti & Puttanesca. 12. Muscadet Sur Lie & Moules Marinière with French fries (think of Paris). 11. Rioja Reserva & roasted lamb. 10. Châteauneuf-du-Pape or Gigondas & roast beef (with a meaty gravy), aka Sunday roast at home for a treat ….. 9. Champagne with Caviar (if you never have, you should try this). 8. Pinot Noir & grilled salmon. 7. simple Rioja & Paella (or a pale dry Rosé with seafood Paella). 6. Sauternes with Foie Gras. 5. Zinfandel & Chilli Con Carni. 4. Mature claret & Beef Wellington. 3. St Joseph (Northern Rhone Syrah) with steak. 2. Barolo & beef stew. 1. Nuits-Saint-Georges (red burgundy, Pinot Noir) and rare to medium-rare roast beef or lamb.
Of course for every wine style I could suggest an alternative. There are different ways of doing things. For example, instead of Sauternes and Foie Gras how about the little known Jurançon Doux of 100% Petit Manseng grapes grown in the Pyrenees, together with Carl Shillingford`s local meat patés – a luxurious way to start a meal, a fresher more vibrant sweet wine and slightly meatier paté than Foie Gras, and a whole lot less controversial! Another: instead of Chablis with oysters, Picpoul de Pinet – at 50% less cost it offers similar qualities; true it`s not quite as good, and the best of Chablis is better than the best of Picpoul, but it`s nonetheless a match in heaven.
The Wine Centre, Great Horkesley Opening hours 10am to 6.30pm Monday to Saturday. Telephone 01206 271 236 , email email@example.com